Intelligent Transportation Systems in Ireland

Scientific Essay, 2001

31 Pages, Grade: very good


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Intelligent Transportation Systems and its Categories
2.1 Advanced Traveller Information System (ATIS)
2.1.1 Description
2.1.2 Technologies used
2.1.3 Implemented successfully
2.1.4 Suitability for Dublin
2.2 Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS)
2.2.1 Description
2.2.2 Technologies used
2.2.3 Implemented successfully
2.2.4 Suitability for Dublin
2.3 Advanced In-vehicle Technologies
2.3.1 Description
2.3.2 Technologies used
2.3.3 Implemented successfully
2.3.4 Suitability for Dublin
2.4 Freight & Fleet Management Systems
2.4.1 Description
2.4.2 Technologies used
2.4.3 Suitability for Dublin Institute of Technology
2.5 Advanced Public Transport Systems
2.5.1 Description
2.5.2 Technologies used
2.5.3 Implemented successfully
2.5.4 Suitability for Dublin Institute of Technology
2.6 Emergency Management Systems
2.6.1 Description
2.6.2 Suitability for Dublin Institute of Technology
2.7 Electronic Payment Systems
2.7.1 Description
2.7.2 Technologies used
2.7.3 Implemented successfully
2.7.4 Suitability for Dublin
2.8 Advanced Safety Systems
2.8.1 Description
2.8.2 Technologies used
2.9 Conclusion

3 Trend Analysis of Intelligent Information Systems
3.1 Government
3.2 Demography
3.3 Society
3.4 Environment
3.5 Economics
3.6 Technology

4 Dublin’s Transportation System – Present and Future
4.1 Bus
4.2 Rail
4.3 Roads

5 Present and future traffic estimation
5.1 General estimation and facts
5.2 Peak Hour trips in Greater Dublin Area (GDA)
5.3 International Benchmarking of the bus segment as public transport
5.4 Geographical and economic features

6 Problems associated with ITS

7 Conclusion



Table 1: Peak hour trips

Table 2: Benchmark between Dublin, Stockholm, and Helsinki

Table 3: Population development of the greater Dublin Area

Table 4: Car Ownership


Figure 1: Intelligent Transportation Systems and its Categories

Figure 2: AM Peak Hour Trips

Figure 3: Population Development of GDA

1. Introduction

IR£ 500,000,000 are lost by people in the greater Dublin area per year mostly due to traffic congestion and the lost time spent in traffic queues (Dublin Transportation Office, 2001a). Traffic congestion has become serious in urban areas of Ireland, due to insufficient road development or road space restrictions to accommodate the growing number of vehicles. The annual loss in monetary terms resulting from traffic congestion is estimated to be an enormous IR£ 500 million (Dublin Transportation Office, 2001a). Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), once proper implemented and maintained will dramatically reduce traffic congestion that causes such a tremendous loss (What is ITS?, 2001). There is no doubt that ITS will improve our lifestyle by combining humans, roads and vehicles using state-of-the-art IT technologies (ITS Handbook, 2001).

This paper gives the reader a clear insight into opportunities to improve traffic and transportation management by using ITS. In addition it gives facts and forecasts about Dublin’s current and future traffic/transportation structure. The research was carried out as part of the MSc Computing (ITSM) and is aimed for readers who work with or for the transportation industry or for government departments/groups related to transportation.

The layout of this paper is as follows: Section 2 deals with the term ‘Intelligent Transportation Systems’ in general and explores the various categories. Most of those categories are subdivided into ‘Description’, ‘Technologies used’, ‘Implemented successfully’, and ‘Suitability for Dublin’. The trend analysis of Intelligent Transportation Systems has been analysed in section 3 and covers the subsections government, demography, society, environment, economics, and technology. The present and future situation of Dublin’s transportation system is laid out in section 4 followed by present and future traffic estimations in section 5. Section 6 deals with problems associated with ITS followed by section 7, the conclusion.

2. Intelligent Transportation Systems and its Categories

Intelligent Transportation Systems embrace and cover a wide range of transport innovations. ‘ITS, which combines humans, roads, and vehicles using state-of-the-art IT technologies, is not only an effective means to resolve traffic problems but is also an infrastructure which will help revolutionise industry and society in the 21st century’ says Oishi Hisakazu who is the Director General of the Road Bureau, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Japan (ITS Handbook, 2001). Computer hardware and software are nowadays so advanced that they can be used either to support or even operate the vehicle itself or the management of transportation as a general term.

ERTICO is a unique international private/public, not-for-profit partnership for Intelligent Transportation Systems in Europe. Their definition of ITS is as follows:

‘Intelligent Transport Systems or ‘ITS’, are the marriage of information and communication technologies with the vehicles and networks that move people and goods (What is ITS?, 2001).

ITS are designed to increase traveller safety and convenience, preserve existing roads while increasing their capacity, reduce pollution emissions by encouraging public transportation use and improving urban as well as commercial vehicle flow, reduce fuel consumption, reduce travel times and reduce transportation and related costs (PR Newswire, 1999).

Many different subcategories arose over the past decade due to the constant enhancement of computer technology and the increasing traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. Some of the subcategories will be defined and explored within this section. Most of them are related to and sometimes depend on the present infrastructure and road space restrictions so that implementation might therefore not be feasible or beneficial in Ireland. In order to implement ITS it is very common to use and combine two or more categories with each other. For example, can the implementation of an intelligent traffic signalling system be automatically combined with vehicle priority systems.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Intelligent Transportation Systems and its Categories

The subcategories are divided into ‘Description’, ‘Technologies used’, ‘Implemented successfully’, and ‘ Suitability for Dublin’. The following categories have been defined by the 8th World Congress on ITS in Sydney (WCITS, 2001).

2.1 Advanced Traveller Information System (ATIS)

2.1.1 Description

ATIS deals with the sector of real time information given to users/participants of public, private or commercial traffic. This information content can extend from real time arrival/departure times of buses, trains, planes, road conditions, accidents, construction sites, parking, park-and-ride information, journey times, or weather conditions. This minimises the possibility of getting lost or taking clogged or inefficient routes (Frenzel, 2001). The objective is to provide as much information about traffic, road, and weather conditions as possible (Frenzel, 2001).

2.1.2 Technologies used

Technologies such as GSM, GSM-R, WAP, GPS, LED displays, wireless LAN, radio transmission and WWW allow the delivery of travel and traffic maps and information to in-vehicle navigation systems, pagers, smart watches, mobile phones, control centres, traffic lights and Internet or dynamic roadside signs (Frenzel, 2001; Futurist, 2000). In order to supply passengers or control centres with information, the exact location of the vehicle (mostly public transport vehicles) has to be predetermined. Two technologies are primarily able to deliver those kind of requirements.

- Traffic management with Global Positioning System (GPS):

The public transport vehicle is equipped with a suitable receiver and establishes a constant radio link to a reference station. The control centre can then, according to the received information change information boards, websites, or traffic flow (Nahverkehrs-Praxis Magazine, 1999).

The GPS method is more flexible and offers more functionality than beacon-based methods (Nahverkehrs-Praxis Magazine, 1999). However it is noteworthy that there is no guarantee that GPS will remain free. New technologies such as differential GPS (DGPS) enhance accuracy (Nahverkehrs-Praxis Magazine, 1999) as well as transaction speeds (Frenzel, 2001).

- Traffic management with wireless LAN or infrared beacon:

The second way of locating public transport vehicles is by implementing access points that communicate with a passing public transport vehicle. The information is then downloaded from the control centre and accordingly used for traffic management (HPW Hani-Prolectron AG, 2000b). This works similar to infrared beacons, which would communicate with the vehicle (bus, emergency vehicles, Light Rail Trains) to give information about location and is then passed on to the control centre (HPW Hani-Prolectron AG, 2000a).

2.1.3 Implemented successfully

Those systems are implemented in many cities all over the world and are already normality in traffic management. Customers expect to be informed about cancellation or delays. It also gives the passenger the opportunity to plan ahead and to make changes to their schedule according to the traffic information received.

2.1.4 Suitability for Dublin

Dublin has a few dynamic traffic information signs in place. According to Dublin Corporation, these information signs are on-line to the traffic control centre and update automatically to provide road users with information on parking availability and traffic conditions (Dublin Corporation - Traffic, 2001). Dynamic information signs have only been implemented in the city centre and are therefore only useful for cars that are central already. It would be important to extend the network of information signs to the main roads leading to the city centre as well as on motorways around Dublin to increase information flow and passenger awareness. Information about accidents or congestion would help road users significantly in decision making.

2.2 Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS)

2.2.1 Description

ATMS are concerned with the optimisation of traffic flow management in order to reduce traffic congestion by sensing traffic conditions through sensors (Frenzel, 2001), video monitors, and signals of infrared beacons. Traffic signal co-ordination systems can be very beneficial in many different areas. ATMS are also concerned with ramp metering and updating traffic message signs (Frenzel, 2001). These computerised systems, commonplace all over the world, co-ordinate traffic to minimise delays, control the rate of traffic merging onto expressways, and can detect accidents and vehicle breakdowns (Futurist, 2000). By implementing ATMS, traffic flow can be analysed at any stage and appropriate steps can be undertaken to avoid traffic congestion. Large scale systems will allow rerouting of transportation systems or manipulation of traffic lights to intervene in real time traffic congestion or unexpected delays to smooth the traffic flow (Broggi, 2001b).

2.2.2 Technologies used

Closed Circuit TV (CCTV), sensors, infrared beacon, GPS, or wireless LAN can be used to enhance traffic flow management. All of it aims to prioritise either various segments/roads or public transport vehicles and emergency vehicles.

2.2.3 Implemented successfully

During the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, such a system was implemented due to the fact that Nagano’s infrastructure was underdeveloped already. Traffic signals were programmed to give official cars priority by installing infrared beacons in vehicles carrying athletes and officials. The system also calculated travel times based on their positions and traffic flow (Futurist, 2000).

2.2.4 Suitability for Dublin

Dublin has some of the technologies in place such as CCTV and sensors. The introduction of GPS or wireless LAN would certainly improve the current situation in the public transport sector. Dublin has to make public transport more attractive in order to decrease the number of public cars used in peak time hours in the greater Dublin area. Public transport can be prioritised by using ATMS technologies and would therefore prove more attractive than getting to work with private cars.

2.3 Advanced In-vehicle Technologies

2.3.1 Description

This includes GPS navigation systems, pre-crash restraint deployment systems, driver drowsiness detectors, infrared night vision systems, lane warning sensors, and automated vehicle operation systems such as adaptive cruise (WCITS, 2001). Until now these navigation systems were static and didn’t include real-time information to calculate the quickest route (Frenzel, 2001). Drivers will soon face a mass of new visual, auditory, and tactile information and will also provide the driver with more information than they are traditionally accustomed to (Broggi, 2001a).

2.3.2 Technologies used

The long-term objective of advanced in-vehicle systems would be the autonomous operation and/or remote control of the vehicle (Frenzel, 2001) what can be implemented by using technologies such as vision enhancement and distance warning systems using a short-range radar, IR, or video (Futurist, 2000).

2.3.3 Implemented successfully

In a number of cities, especially in Japan, travellers navigation systems include real-time traffic information to calculate the most appropriate way to the destination (Futurist, 2000). The problem of such system is the information overflow, which can affect drivers’ concentration and therefore put them and others in danger (Frenzel, 2001). The negative impacts of such systems are discussed in section 6 in detail. In order to implement such systems a sufficient amount of traffic sensors and capable wireless connections have to be installed to ensure quick communication between car and the management control base. Cars are getting more and more computerised. As soon as manual systems become computerised the car could manage speed, breaking points, and steering.

2.3.4 Suitability for Dublin

Of course such systems would be very beneficial for the Dublin traffic situation. However, it is not in Dublin’s power to introduce such technologies. It is rather up to the car manufacturer to introduce these systems. Modern communication devices, telematic systems, electronic platforms, networking bus systems, intelligent computation and the detection of the driving environment by capable sensors are all integrated into an innovative and comprehensive concept assisting the driver (ConnectDrive Home, 2001). Until this technology is available for the general public there is not much Dublin can do in implementing this technology. It is important though to be prepared and have technologies ready to incorporate such systems into Dublin’s/Irelands traffic management system.


Excerpt out of 31 pages


Intelligent Transportation Systems in Ireland
Dublin Institute of Technology  (Dublin Institute of Technology)
very good
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
635 KB
intelligent, transportation, industry, Dublin, Ireland, information
Quote paper
Markus Hofmann (Author), 2001, Intelligent Transportation Systems in Ireland, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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